Speaking of Little Dude's yearly ornaments, here's the one for 2013...
Backed with plaid fabric shown in background
All is not lost though - he has a very talented dad who hacked an IKEA coffee table and built him his very own train table. We were also gifted with piles of wooden train tracks, trains and accessories from my BIL and SIL, who passed them on from my SIL's sister's son. We added a few more accessories and trains for him, and they are by far his favorite toy. He's gotten hours of enjoyment out of them. He started playing with them when he was just over 2 years old, and it's been fun to watch how the way he plays with them has changed and developed.
And it's not just Thomas that holds his interest, although I am certain we've seen every single episode of Thomas, read all the books, and own most of the trains. He's obsessed with all kinds of trains - real ones, wooden ones, model trains, books about trains, videos about trains, etc. We've taken him to Day out with Thomas twice, on at least a dozen train rides around the area, museums, model train displays, you name it, we've done it. Two weeks ago, we took him to the Railroad Museum in Strasburg for the second time. We spent four hours there, exploring the actual restored trains (engines, cars and cabooses) and playing with the various set ups and displays they had for the kids. He begged for a ride on the Strasburg Railroad across the street, but we told him another time as he was already getting crabby. Never in a million years did I think I'd get a kid as crazy about trains as this one, but it's been interesting. I've certainly learned way more about trains than I ever thought I would. (And if you find yourself in the Lancaster area, I highly recommend a visit to the Railroad Museum)
The other Little Dude related ornament is the one I stitched up for his preschool teacher. He started preschool in September, three days a week, and he LOVES it. I was a little nervous at first, but he is still excited to go and very much enjoys it. He's (so far) an only child and most of the kids in our neighborhood are middle school or older, so he's been making friends at school.
I wasn't quite sure what to do for his teacher for Christmas. My husband and I bake a tremendous amount of cookies (usually 12 different kinds, plus several kinds of candy), so we hand out cookie platters to neighbors, family and friends. I was already planning on giving his teacher some baked goodies, but I wanted to do something extra for her as she's been really wonderful with Little Dude. My MIL is a former preschool teacher herself, and she said the gifts she treasured the most were handmade ones. Perfect, right? So I flipped through some of my JCS Ornament issues and this one popped out at me.